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2014/06/04 / Shanan


Yes, you absolutely need one of these.

What seemed like a bit of a misguided dud gift on my part for Chris’ birthday back in the dead of October, the Mayan hammock is now our most prized possession.  We hung it up between two apple trees a couple of weekends ago and it’s the most relaxing (or stimulating, if you’re a three year old) thing ever.



Tangled up in you.


(These were taken on a chilly day, hence the puffy vest.  I know, I know – is there ever an adequate excuse for a puffy vest? Let’s just move on)



“Are you sure we can’t sleep here tonight?”

I’m a bit behind on publishing photos from around here (Gillian was managing our Instagram account so I’m trying to clue myself in there but the pace is glacial) but I’ll get there… lots more absurd wholesomeness to come.

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2014/05/16 / Shanan


Lately, I’ve been finding myself drawn to the somewhat crazy resurgence in the popularity of woven textile art.  A million years ago these commonly took the form of macramé owls, rendered in écru and brown wools, hanging in living rooms with wall-to-wall shag carpeting.  I think you know what I’m talking about here.

I always appreciate a traditional skill-based medium made to feel modern again, and these weavings feel especially beautiful and current if you picture them living in more minimal settings – their inherent warmth and texture really plays well with contemporary furnishings and white walls.  They’re just such a great mixture of art, design, and craft; colour, pattern and composition. One of each, please.

Image above: weaving in shades of cream and blush by Maryanne Moodie.

Heddle and Needle blink wall hanging weaving

‘Blink’ weaving by Heddle and Needle.

Minna cabin fever weaving wall hanging

‘Cabin Fever’ weaving by Minna.


Wall hanging by Julie Thevenot.

Hazel and Hunter red desert weaving wall hanging

‘Red Desert’ weaving by Hazel and Hunter.

Brook and Lyn Palm Tree Park weaving wall hanging

‘Palm Tree Bark’ weaving by Brook & Lyn.

vintage fiber art wall hanging the brick house

Vintage fiber art (had to include one example of the real old deal) from The Brick House.

All Roads weavings wall hanging

‘Founders Weaving’ and ‘Mini Triangle’ by All Roads.

Can you see past the ’70s hangover and picture one of these in your home now?  Are you as oddly tempted as I am to try your hand at making one (yes, yes, a possible fool’s errand)?

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2014/01/13 / Shanan


Hi hi, hope you all had a nice weekend.  I’m getting this Monday started with an interiors itch – it’s been ages since I’ve tackled any project of consequence for our home and I could really use a dose of something new and cool in here.  Caveat of course being that I want to spend virtually no money.

I collect lots of inspiration images of existing interiors and objects, and when I revisit them I wonder… Could I make this?  These are the latest designs I’m considering:

Image above: floral chandelier in the Paris loft of designer Paolo Navone, via Vosgesparis. Photo © Andrea Ferrari. This is kind of a classy, really oversized version of a Polish chandelier and from what I can tell, those are just fake flowers adorning it.  I love that it’s unapologetically bold, lush, and fun, and though time-consuming I can’t imagine it would actually be super difficult to make (famous last words, Shanan).

Kelly Wearstler pyrite gemstone brass jewelry box

Pyrite Matrix Bauble Box by Kelly Wearstler, via 1stdibs.com.  Isn’t this box so rad?  I’m willing to follow this gemstone trend all the way off the cliff, my friends, even if it’s towing the pretty/ugly line that Kelly Wearstler is so adept at.  You could definitely put your own stamp on this idea by collecting stones and gluing/wire-wrapping them to a basic jewelry box (kind of wish this had been on my radar for Christmas, in fact).

Catherine Kwong interior designer brass table legs

Brass table legs in the home of interior designer Catherine Kwong, via Coco+Kelley.  The embellished table legs are good, right?  And our dining table is kind of a mess right now.  Small modification, big impact.

Claire Anne O'Brien knit wool stools artisan

Sculptural knit stools by Claire Anne O’Brien, via Trend Tablet.  I won’t pretend I could get anywhere close to replicating these, but I love the idea of a really oversized textural knit on top of something very basic like a small stool or ottoman.  Cozy and very kid-friendly.

So what do you think – do any of these ideas stand out for you?  Should I give it the old college try?  I promise to show you the results…

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2013/12/11 / Gillian


1. Something I Want:  Inspired by the “autumnal nature” of the Finnish climate, the new Marimekko Sääpäiväkirja (Weather Diary) Tableware Collection is at the top of my list this year.  Porcelain, but sturdy and dishwasher safe, these pieces are a perfect marriage of beauty & functionality. Just imagine the tablescaping possibilities!

2Something I Need:  ‘Need’ is so subjective, isn’t it? I mean really, I need new wool socks and a dryer, but somehow the Eames Molded Plastic Side Chairs have edged out Mark’s Work Warehouse and Maytag this year. Seriously though, we have a set of vintage press back chairs we bought in Toronto at Jaiden’s Petals/Cindiloohoo about ten years ago. Lovely as they are, they are not conducive to lingering dinners cozied up at our harvest table. So, I am on the hunt for something more comfortable, but also more contemporary.

3Something to Wear:  Clothes are my weakness, so they could comprise my whole list. Thankfully, Shanan has kept me on track with this four-point framework (apparently it’s not just a great gift-giving system for kids but also for their pining parents!). I am chronically over-dressed in the small village where I live (what, you don’t wear snakeskin pumps to Foodland??) and do wear vintage as much as possible. Shanan and I have been talking recently about the appeal of a ‘uniform’ – a go-to staple that is chic and wearable all at once. Et voila, the 1950’s day dress is my new paradigm.

4Something to Read:  I’ll be straight-up here – I haven’t read a book cover to cover since September. Apparently I’m a schizophrenic reader – either devouring novels or am just lucky to get through an article in the New Yorker. During this most recent dry spell I have been reading a lot of cookbooks. In fact, I think almost everything I have made in the past couple of months has followed a recipe. The Kinfolk Table, a beautiful collection of narratives, photographs and recipes, promises to be the perfect addition to my collection.

And… that pretty much concludes the wishlist/gift guide portion of our programming.  Ho ho ho.

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2013/11/22 / Shanan


Anybody who knows me well, knows that I’ve got wallpaper of some sort on the brain pretty much all the time.  I hang it in my house, I did an elaborate hand-painted version in my last kitchen, and in the past I’ve created art wallpapers out of weird materials (hair, and sugar, and one failed attempt with ash, if you must know).  When people need sources or wallpaper ideas, they come to me.  End of story.  Bad-da boom.  What, am I in the mob or something?

Anyhow.  I love surface patterns that mess with tradition and insinuate themselves so that their weirdness might not be immediately recognizable.  Toile de Jouy provides one of the best classical frameworks with which to spin out really contemporary interpretations.  Instantly recognizable, the original and conventional toiles were made up of a series of detailed pastoral scenes, rendered in a single colour on a white background.  Think delicately-illustrated women in corsets sitting under trees, repeated across a formal dining room wall… with matching patterned curtains.

Not your thing?  Thankfully these amazing artists/manufacturers are dialling down the stuffiness and putting their own unique, humorous and wonderfully weird twists on the traditional toile.  Let’s get to a few of my favourites…


Image above: Timorous Beasties’ “New York Toile” has it all: city landmarks, motorcycles, cops, and drug deals. Available in pink, grey, green, blue, and more.

Flat Vernacular Toile de Derby wallpaper


Killer cars: Flat Vernacular’s ‘Toile de Derby‘ in Driver’s Door colourway.

Dan Funderburgh Vigilant Floral toile wallpaper

Big sister is watching you: Dan Funderburgh’s “Vigilant Floral” wallpaper in lavender.  I think this one is so cheeky yet still so beautiful.

Sassy Toile wallpaper flavour paper

Er, speaking of cheeky…

DFC is a design studio that fuses modern design with traditional Mexican style.  Their  “Sassy Toile” from Flavor Paper is a contemporary take on an old-school pulp fiction story (and it’s available in ‘Electric Raspberry on Silver Mylar’ – yes yes, my head just exploded, too).

640 480 video collective vertigo toile wallpaper

And last but not least, I dug this one out of the archives. “Vertigo” wallpaper by the now-defunct 640 480 Video Collective (I was once part of a “hot” “young” “collective” of “conceptual” “video” “artists” [all air-quotes necessary to cover my bases here]).  We were invited to do a project for an art fair in San Francisco, and we created a toile paper rendered from scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  The vignettes actually shifted with each pattern repeat so if you looked closely, you’d see scenic progressions like Kim Novak jumping into the water, or James Stewart falling down a roof.


Would you hang any of these in your house, or do you prefer your wallpaper to be of a less subversive nature (read: no raspberry mylar boobs*)?  It’s okay, you can be honest.  xx Shanan

(* raspberry mylar boobs = the name of my new girl band. Who’s in?)